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Volunteers have planted beach grass to help stabilize the sand dune at Bennett Beach, as well as dogwood and willow trees to stabilize the bank of Big Sister Creek, as part of a restoration project.“This restoration project is a tremendous way to care for and enhance Bennett Beach and the surrounding parkland,” County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. “Not only will this p…

Five Erie County companies that have been collecting debt on short-term “payday” loans will pay more than $300,000 in restitution and penalties and will cease making further collections in New York State, under a settlement announced today by the state Attorney General’s Office.“Payday loans trap thousands of New Yorkers in a cycle of debt and prey on vulnerable consumers,…

Lax financial oversight in West Seneca Fire District No. 6 resulted in a criminal charge against its former treasurer, who pleaded guilty last week to a charge of petit larceny, according to an audit by the state comptroller’s office.The audit found that the fire district paid more than $4,800 for internet, telephone and cable television services at Diane Nowicki’s home fr…

LOCKPORT – The City of Lockport has 30 properties for sale in its annual tax foreclosure auction, set for 6 p.m. Oct. 8 in City Hall.The city is aiming to score sale prices that exceed $259,264, which is the total amount of unpaid taxes written off on the 30 properties, according to City Treasurer Michael E. White.The lineup of properties this year comprises almost all hou…

NIAGARA FALLS – Tijuana Davis, 39, of North Avenue, was identified Sunday as the victim who was fatally shot at about 4 a.m. Saturday during a confrontation inside her apartment, police said.Two North Carolina residents who were visiting the area to attend a wedding have been charged in Davis’ death. Richard H. Moore, 50, and Cammesoa M. Williams, 42, both of Winston-Salem…

DUNKIRK – Residents and community leaders filled the large meeting room at the SUNY Fredonia Incubator Center on Central Avenue in Dunkirk to talk about planning, promoting and marketing Dunkirk.The Saturday morning gathering was coordinated by the city and members of the Academy Heights Neighborhood Association to promote the city and get new ideas on how to improve.Georg…

LOCKPORT – The impact of the state’s new policy of directly paying providers of preschool services, which has resulted in many not being paid, has been muted so far in Niagara County.Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said last week that only 5 percent of the early intervention clients in the county are covered by private insurance, which was the subject of the sta…

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Part of an occasional seriesBy T.J. PignataroNews Staff ReporterPORT STANLEY, Ont. – Lake Erie was always greener on the other side – until this year.The lake’s infamous toxic blue-green algae first made what’s become an annual summertime appearance along the southern Ontario shoreline in July this year. It arrived on the lake a month earlier in a new spot, closing beaches…

Erie County

Football game? What football game?It was all about the pumpkins – being carved, piled, purchased, shot with slingshots, and eaten in the form of pies and doughnuts – for the thousands of people who thronged the Great Pumpkin Farm in Newstead on a glorious Sunday.The stars of the day’s events were the competitive eaters who traveled from across the country to gobble slices …

Erie County

Football game? What football game?It was all about the pumpkins – being carved, piled, purchased, shot with slingshots, and eaten in the form of pies and doughnuts – for the thousands of people who thronged the Great Pumpkin Farm in Newstead on a glorious Sunday.The stars of the day’s events were the competitive eaters who traveled from across the country to gobble slices …

One by one, the wrongful death claims are being settled.So are the disputes over who can and cannot testify.Even the complicated bankruptcy case that stood in the way is over.More than four years after the tragedy of Flight 3407, the question of who’s to blame for the deaths of 50 people is finally ready to go to a jury.A trial is still months away – jury selection begins …

MIDDLEPORT – Two state legislators urged Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week to rein in the state Department of Environmental Conservation and prevent further excavation in Middleport.The DEC and other state and federal environmental agencies plan to require FMC Corp. to dig up 202 properties in the village, most of them residential, to remove soil that tests show is laced with…

A 42-year-old Buffalo man with a lengthy criminal history was charged with multiple crimes following two violent incidents early Sunday at a South Buffalo bar.Victor M. Irizarry of Yale Street, who served a seven-year state prison sentence related to a 1998 manslaughter conviction, was accused of assaulting a man and a woman at Buffalo’s Finest Bar, 2163 Seneca St.William…

Jim Gerland saw the digital divide coming two decades ago.Back then, Buffalo was on the forefront of providing free Internet access to thousands of Western New Yorkers, and Gerland, then an administrator at the University at Buffalo, was part of a small team of volunteers running the dial-up service known as Buffalo Freenet.It appealed mostly to techies. But it was free an…

Erie County

May 22, 1929 – Sept. 26, 2013Francis E. George, co-owner for many years of a popular tavern and eatery in the Village of North Collins, died Thursday in his longtime North Collins home after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84.One of eight children, the North Collins native spent his entire life in the village and town, aside from a stint in the Army during th…